Kospi rises for eighth consecutive session
Shares extended gains for an eighth straight session Monday on the back of advances by chipmakers and the government's decision to loosen quarantine measures. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 11.77 points, or 0.49 percent, to close at 2,403.73.
Trading volume was moderate at about 832 million shares worth some 10.5 trillion won ($9.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 508 to 324.
Foreigners bought a net 138 billion won and institutions purchased a net 84 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 234 billion won.
"[Local] stocks seem to have gone up due to the eased virus curbs here and the $1.8 trillion stimulus proposal extended by the White House," said Korea Investment & Securities analyst Kim Ye-in.
On Monday, Korea lowered its Covid-19 social distancing guidelines to the lowest level, raising hopes that the eased virus curbs can boost economic recovery.
Chipmakers led the Kospi's hike, buoyed by promising export data. In the first 10 days of October, exports of memory chips rose 11.2 percent on year, while Korean exports contracted 28.8 percent.
In Seoul, large caps closed mixed.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.17 percent to 60,400 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix spiking 3.14 percent to 85,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.56 percent to 719,000 won. Celltrion shot up 4.39 percent to 273,500 won, following reports that the drugmaker successfully completed phase one clinical trials for its coronavirus antibody treatment.
Internet portal Naver dipped 2.99 percent to 292,000 won, with its rival Kakao down 1.98 percent to 371,500 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem fell 2.89 percent to 672,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI dropped 1.12 percent to 440,000 won. Hyundai Motor slipped 0.28 percent to 180,000 won, and steelmaker Posco lost 0.48 percent to 207,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 1.88 points, or 0.22 percent, to close at 873.5.
The local currency closed at 1,146.8 won per dollar, down 6.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, finished mixed. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.8 basis points to 0.925 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds dropped 0.4 basis points to 0.77 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]